Can You Play Defensively In The 21 Point System?

On June 10, 2009, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

Since badminton switched to 21 points I would think it’s fair to say that the game has become more aggressive, and that players with a more aggressive style have prospered as a result. However, I wonder can one still prosper using a more defensive style? I think it is, but you’d need to have some pretty ridiculous defense because your opponents don’t have the same fitness concerns as the 15 point system presented them with, so they can go full out for a full match pretty much.

Would players like Ardy Wiranata and Han Jian have succeeded at the same level under the 21 point system? They’d probably have to bring out some more aggressive tactics from time to time, but I still think you can play that way and succeed. Here’s my logic on it. You see, now that players are focusing on finishing games much more quickly, their aerobic fitness levels are not going to be as well developed. If you have spectacular retrieval abilities, and even better fitness, you could drag your opponent into a really long match. If they are playing very aggressively they are going to get tired really fast, and a defensive style is much less tiring, believe it or not, than an offensive style.

So, all you need is amazing defense (probably the best actually), and amazing fitness (again, the best), then you can win with a defensive style. What do you think?

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2 Responses to Can You Play Defensively In The 21 Point System?

  1. Mathieu says:

    I think that with the new scoring system, the idea of ''offensive'' and ''defensive'' style changes.
    What I mean is that no matter what style of play you have, you need to use your opportunities and finish the rallies when it is possible.
    The difference would be that the offensive player tries very hard to create those opportunities (and therefore might take a few risks in order to do that), while the defensive player will most likely wait for the opportunity to come (and not take any risk before that opportunity arrives).
    Of course, this also means that the defensive player won't just play clears and lifts, but will most likely play to all 4 corners and only attack when he is in a very balanced position. Fitness and defense are still extremely important as they are the key to a good defensive style.

    For example, I was watching Rajiv Ouseph play at the Atwater Internationnals this year and I consider him as a defensive player: he has great defense and fitness, but it's mostly his tactical choices that make me beleive that he is a defensive player: he would attack almost only when he had the chance to kill the shuttle and would rarely take risks. The rest of the time, he would play to all 4 corners until the opportunity to play a winner would arrive. As a result, he was often trailing by a few points at the mid-game interval, but would catch up at the end of the set, as his opponent was tired since he had to work very hard for every point he earned. Most of the time, at the end of the set, Rajiv would start to increase his pace of mouvement and shots in order to apply more pressure and deliver the ''crushing blow''. His opponent would just not have the stamina to keep up with this increase of pace and Rajiv would usually make a good comeback by the end of the set.

    Thats my opinion

  2. DML says:

    That's true look at how lee chong wei wins many rallies, by having great defense and fitness he extends the rallies and then attacks when his opponent is tired.

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